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December 5th, 2019

It’s an unfortunate truth of business that no matter how well prepared you are, no matter how many contingency plans you have put in place, sometimes things just…stop working.

 

Success in any business is not just about eliminating problems – it’s about the speed and efficiency with which we react to them when they occur. The problem that most companies face is one of expertise – the moving parts of a modern business, whether they relate to IT, manufacturing, or other industry-specific areas, have become so complex that it’s increasingly unlikely that any one person will have all the answers to a problem – or that they’ll be in the right place to put their expertise to use.

 

Crisis? What crisis?

When systems break down in the workplace, that’s an ‘incident’. When they aren’t fixed promptly – that’s a ‘crisis’. Business-critical systems can refer to anything from a lightbulb to a hospital’s life-support machine. In this sense the definition of critical isn’t about the system itself – it’s about the length of time that it’s possible to go without it before there’s a major negative impact upon business or workplace. A lightbulb might not be perceived as a business-critical system – until you try working in the dark.

What stands between ‘incident’ and ‘crisis’, therefore, is communication, specifically the communication of knowledge. Changing a fuse isn’t tricky – but what if you’d never done it before? Asking for advice is a natural part of the learning process – the sharing of information from expert to novice, a continuous cycle that begins in childhood. As we enter the workforce, we assimilate new job-relevant skills, but the compartmentalization of expertise always means that there is someone else to ask when we encounter a problem we can’t solve.

But what if that problem is beyond the skillset of our immediate colleagues? And what if it presents an immediate, business-critical threat that needs to be fixed – now?

The Knowledge Pool

It’s been a while since Peter Drucker’s seminal 1959 work ‘Landmarks of Tomorrow’, when he first coined the term ‘knowledge work’, but his central concept of knowledge as a business commodity is truer now than ever before. He developed this concept up until his death in 2005, asserting that knowledge was fundamentally a greater asset than more tangible items such as land or financial reserves. When we think of the rise of knowledge-based businesses in the 21st century, it’s hard to disagree – the power of Google and Amazon lies not in physical products, but in information and the way in which it’s communicated. 

So, knowledge is valuable – but only if it can be communicated. The power of knowledge lies in the ability to quickly and effectively gather information from a wide range of expert sources, forming a conclusion and solving a problem. Only through communication does knowledge gain value.

The internet has transformed our ability to use knowledge as a resource – it’s easy to type in ‘how to change a lightbulb’ into a search engine – but it still doesn’t bridge the gap to the physical world, having someone by your side showing you how to change your lightbulb.

What is needed is a solution that allows us to pool our expertise, to project knowledge and guidance to anywhere, anytime, to the person who needs it most. Fortunately, XMReality has the answer.

Remote Guidance

XMReality’s Remote Guidance allows you to use your mobile device to support customers and colleagues free from geographical constraints, in an intuitive yet powerful package. Augmented reality software liberates the user from voice-only guidance, adding the ability to interact more meaningfully with the customer, pointing out, guiding – explaining complex instructions in a simple, comprehensible way.

This ability to communicate knowledge and expertise in an intuitive, almost physical way, bridges the gap between guider and guided, expert and novice – it allows true knowledge sharing, leveraging the total accumulation of expertise to a single point, liberating it from the constraints of language and providing the fastest problem resolution possible. 

We’ll leave the last words to Peter Drucker:

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”

Learn more about XMReality Remote Guidance in action here.